Communication during building projects

It is important that developers and contractors communicate with local residents and businesses well in advance of the start of a project and maintain that communication while the building works continue.

When concerns arise contractors should be ready to listen to residents so that alternative approaches can be found wherever possible which suit both parties. For large scale developments, developers and contractors should prepare a public relations plan.

Best practice advice for builders and developers

Before works beginOnce work has started
Contact local residents to exolain the nature of the building worksAt the start, display contact information of the site manager so residents may contact them with queries
Identify sensitive receptors and agree separate arrangements for updating themDisplay out of hours contact information in case of an emergency
Provide a timetable to show residents what works will be happening, and whenListen to residents' concerns
Ensure drawings, diagrams and schedules are easily understood, clearly annotated and appropriately scaledGive residents 7 days notice, where possible, of any noisy or disturbing activities which are likely to take place for more than one day
Explain what impact the work might have, and what steps you will be taking to minimise thisThe site manager should maintain a complaints log, with information on how the problem was rectified
For major projects, prepare a public relations plan and consider a regular newsletter for residents 

Advice for residents

We recommend residents approach the neighbour who is re-developing their property and the appointed builders about the impact of works on the neighbourhood at an early stage to discuss and where possible, sort out any anticipated problems.

Before work begins

  • if your neighbour or the developer or the Council's Planning Department has not contacted you, try and contact your neighbour to find out about the nature of the works
  • ask your neighbour or the developer for a timetable to show what works will be happening and when
  • ask your neighbour or the developer to explain what impacts the work might have and the steps for minimising these
  • find out the site manager's contact details
  • if noisy works are planned, ask your neighbour or the developer for some notice so you can make alternative arrangements; they may be willing to schedule such works at a time which will be less inconvenient
  • if required, ask to view the approved drawings, diagrams and schedules for the development

Once work has started

  • please appreciate that demolition and construction work will naturally result in some noise and disturbance
  • if there is a problem, contact the site manager, whose information should be displayed at the entrance to the site
  • keep your own log of events with dates, times and incident - this will be useful if you need to show any pattern that has occurred
  • please don't call the Council without having spoken to the site manager and tried to negotiate a solution first
  • the site manager should listen